Discuss about the Statistics & Business Research Methods for Consumer Culture.
Globally, it was not until the late 20th century that the retail industry largely evolved to what is now the modern retail. Initially, there lacked a consumer culture, brands were limited and people only purchased what was available (Bloch, Ridgway and Dawson, 1994). Shopping areas were countable. Trained manpower was not there in this particular industry. It was literally difficult to make competition with the unorganized sector that operated with overheads and minimal cost of labor. India itself had its tax laws and government restrictions creating, even more, problems for the industry. However, change is now evident through the liberalization of the sector. Today’s consumer is in possession of more spending power, better educated, and more so, aware of the different brands in the market. Consequently, the desire to acquire has also been boosted. According to Solomon (2014), personal consumption is currently on the rise as the population of working couples increases. These changes coupled with the availability of retail space and trained manpower, have recorded a positive impact. Each year sees a number of new players enter the market; thereby, revolutionising the country’s retail industry.
Michon, Chebat and Turley (2005) reported that there the urban educated middle class as well as the growing culture of women taking up formal jobs has led to the emergence of a purchasing power that has changed the buying habits of many families. This can be attributed to the experience of a growth in family income and time dearth. Consequently, services and convenience have been on the increase. The modern consumer cares about where they do their shopping from, be it exclusive stores, multi-brand outlets or malls with surrounding developments. These consumers want superior products and more interesting is that they want them instantly (Solomon 2014).
Therefore, it has become clear that there is a growing trend of preference for one stop shops like supermarkets and malls. A mall is rather mall appealing to the larger public because of the pleasant surroundings, a wider variety of brands and the ability for better displays. Chebat et al. (2014) assert that the future will see an increase in the spending abilities of the consumer particular because of the rising numbers of dual income families. At the same time, it is projected that the time one would spend shopping will decrease. In such an event, shoppers will need to buy multi brands under one roof and the retail that will benefit will be those that provide quicker services.
Empirically, it has been observed that the customers who purchased products from shopping mall spent lesser time as compared to stores or markets. It is also observed that customers conserve their precious time by using the shopping mall. Customers can purchase all type of respective goods at one single place with high quality and various schemes. An organised arrangement of the products attracts the customers towards the mall. For the sustainable status of the mall, customers are an essential component. Thus, their different nature and their expenditure have been examined in this research proposal.
Business Research Topic
The shopping mall is an up and coming industry that changes the way people, and especially the middle class, shop. These shopping spaces are typically fully air-conditioned with escalators and quality services. Today, consumers are more interested in the ease of shopping which is examined according to the availability of products, in-store services, and product display as well. According to Wesley, LeHew and Woodside (2006) families are looking for entertainment which equates to shopping, food and other options like bowling and cinemas.
As a result, the mall's management team has decided to analyse the nature of the consumers with respect to the purchase and expense of the products or services. Hence, the management department has orchestrated a research study in order to determine the various facts related to the purchasing of goods in the mall. Another aspect that will be conducted in this research study is the analysis of the different claims concerning customers related to the product or service in a specified time period. Therefore, the topic of the research proposal is selected as “the analysis of the customers visiting shopping mall” (Bryman and Bell, 2015).
- To determine the average age of the customers visiting the mall in a specified time period.
- To investigate the marital status of the customers visiting the mall and in what proportion.
- To determine the net fraction of the customer visiting the mall based on the gender.
- To examine the methods used by the customer for payment.
- To determine the payment method that is more suitable for malls.
- To determine the average sale by the customer in the mall within specified time period.
Basic Research Questions
The major objective for the research study is to determine the answer of various questions that arises in the process of expenditure by the customer in the mall. These research questions are mentioned below:
- What is the average age of the customers visiting the mall in a specified time period?
- What is the marital status of the customers visiting the mall and in what proportion?
- What is the net fraction of the customer visiting the mall based on the gender?
- What is the method used by the customer for payment?
- What type of payment method is more suitable for malls?
- What is the average sale by the customer in the mall within specified time period?
For a business to triumph, it has to satisfy the wants and needs of the consumer. Therefore, an effective strategy must analyse the consumer/customer in a more prolific manner. The management of the business space should be interested in revealing the complexities of buyers, their dynamic buying behaviours as well as their individual differences (Wesley et al., 2006). As such, the decision-making process of the consumer should be carefully studied by management organizations in order to fully understand the customer visiting the shopping mall. Thus, finding the motives that influencing the decision-making process of the consumer is an important aspect in this study. The differences in the decision-making process of the consumers can help the management to classify their customers into meaningful groups and subgroups.
Solomon, Russell-Bennett and Previte (2012) defined consumer behaviour as “the study of how having (or not having) things affects our lives and how possessions influence the way we feel about ourselves and each other-our state of being.” Every organization expresses an in interest in the behaviour of consumers in order to formulate effective strategies that will meet the demands of the target customer. It is for these reasons that consumer research and analysis is necessary. For a mall, hitting the success mark is largely dependent on the strategy that is capable of measuring the needs and wants of the customer as well as their reaction to the strategy. Therefore, malls can satisfy their customer more y analysing where, what, and when they buy goods and services (Alavi et al., 2016). Understanding these factors can help the mall management team to predict and respond to expectations of the customers. In a nutshell, the information gathered through this analytical research study will help the mall management to position the business in a more competitive edge through better customer service leading to customer satisfaction. In line with this findings, the research study will focus on buyers’ behaviour, their decision making process and the factors that influence this process, gathering knowledge for consumption decisions, effective segmentation by supermarkets, nurturing good behaviour for shoppers, convenience of shopping, among other factors.
Research Methodology and Process
According to Flick (2015) selection of the appropriate methodology is an imperative step for the research study.
The initial step in the methodology is to collect the necessary data with the help of specific sampling method. Random sampling method is suitable for the current research study, because it provides set of data from various customers from different sources in the mall and also it covers all type of customers based on age, gender, culture and status et cetera (Hillier, 2006).
The researcher has selected the inferential and descriptive statistical method for this research study. This is because it will enable the study to analyse multiple research scenarios.
The research design will involve a review of relevant literatures in order to guide the researcher to effectively examine the conceptual framework or findings of previous research outcomes for this study which can provide useful information to the researcher for conducting the researcher (Zikmund et. al., 2012).
The collected data will be examined by the researcher using suitable statistical tools or techniques such as tables and graphs. The study will specify any null assumptions
Collection of Data and Analysis Procedure
Following measures have been taken for this research study
- Type of the customer /gender/age/marital status
- State of the customer
- Number of purchased goods
- Mode of payment
- Net sales in dollars
There are two main scales selected for this research study
- Nominal scale
- Ratio scale
Suitable size for the sampling method is imperative to collect reliable data which represents the population. The sample size is 200 for this study. The data collected from various customers is to be analysed with descriptive statistical method, which provides a detailed sets of element to express statistical representation on the nature of the spending of the customer in the shopping mall (Swarup, Gupta and Mohan, 2010).
Analysis of the Collected Data
Two basic types of the statistical methods have been adopted for the analysis of the collected data. These methods are inferential statistics method and descriptive statistical method, to determine the purchase of the products in the shopping mall (Hastie, Tibshirani and Friedman, 2001).
Descriptive Statistics Method
The researchers will examine the collected data and expressed in terms of the average age, state of the customers, fraction of the purchasing goods based on the gender of the customer, the average spending of the customer, mode of the payment in the shopping mall. This descriptive statistics will help the researchers to determine minimum standard deviation and maximum standard deviation (Eriksson and Kovalainen, 2015).
Inferential Statistical Method
Several statistical tools and tests would be operated in this research study, in order to find the various claims and the expenditure made by the customer in the shopping mall. In this scenario, one sample t test, two sample t test, and z test is selected for the study (Lieberman et. al., 2011). Various graphs, tables and charts have been drawled in the MS excel in order to form a quick view on the collected data and final results. Also, regression analysis has been taken into consideration to interpret the data. If required a correlation coefficient would also be deployed in the analysis (Swarup, Gupta and Mohan, 2010).
The final expected research conclusion in an attempted to answer the research questions is expressed as follows:
- Average net sale of the mall as per different customer profile
- Minimum net sale
- Maximum net sale
- Mode of the payment used for transaction
- Fraction of the different mode of the payment
- Proportion of the visiting customer based on the gender
- Marital status of the customer and find the relative proportion
- Average age of the customer visiting in the mall
- Distribution of the visited customer based on their residential status.
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